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Zen and the art of the super prime renter

Long before a super prime property is ready to let, clients count on Savills knowledge of market conditions to best attract discerning owners

Front elevation plan of a property

 

From the roof terrace of Tilney Street, you can fully appreciate the exquisite location of this Georgian Mayfair townhouse. From one aspect, the Dorchester and Hyde Park. From another, high-end restaurants and boutique shops. It’s an exclusive setting – a perfect vantage point for entertaining guests. Or, it will be in a few months, once the townhouse has completed a top-to-bottom refurbishment ready for letting in the super prime market.

Roof terraces are highly sought after in this neighbourhood, which adds to the property’s attraction, as Izzy Birch Reynardson, Head of Savills Super Prime Lettings for prime central London, explains.

“One key aspect of my role involves consultancy on development projects like this,” says Birch Reynardson. “The super prime market is more product driven than ever, owing to increased supply in our marketplace. It’s key for me to advise clients on what end-users are looking for so that they are armed to achieve their objectives. For a house in this location, a roof terrace is an extremely desirable feature.”

For the Portfolio Manager representing the landlord that owns the property at Tilney Street, this advice is a key part of his planning. “I manage a portfolio of super prime properties around central London,” says the Portfolio Manager. “Izzy knows exactly what the market is saying and my development model relies on this information. Izzy was involved from an early stage and has as much power in the design meetings as I do because she knows what’s current in the market.”

That market knowledge extends to every detail of the high-end development of this listed townhouse, from opening up rooms to create an incredible reception for entertaining, to a remodelled basement that provides discreet access to the property.

“Super prime rentals continue to be in demand as a consequence of higher rates of stamp duty in the UK,” says Birch Reynardson. “The market is competitive, and an end user wants added value in something they secure. But that doesn’t mean developers should over-specify. And my role is to help them spend ‘smart’, to help prevent void periods and maximise their returns.”

So, what other influences dictate demand? “Schooling is a key driver for us in the super prime market in terms of injection of tenants moving into London,” says Birch Reynardson. “Traditionally, Mayfair has had an older tenant demographic, but the recent opening of a new Eaton Square Upper School at 106 Piccadilly could change that over the next two years.

“We’re also seeing higher demand for furnished properties despite a longer average tenancy length. People are selling their property and choosing to rent for two to three years to see how the market develops. It’s easier to pack up their house, rent a ‘turn-key’ property and then enter the market again when they are ready.

“At Savills, we operate a boutique service. Each client has a single point of contact with us and they value our opinion on a property and throughout the process. More than ever, I’ve noticed that both landlords and tenants are interested in who they are dealing with, and landlords tend to seek custodians for their property, especially in the high calibre homes we’re dealing with. Given our personal, boutique service, this is hugely powerful for us when seeking not just any tenant for a client, but the right tenant.”

The Savills Super Prime Lettings team provides a boutique and discreet service to clients, landlords and tenants in prime central London.